May marches on

May has certainly flown by. There has been much to do as the season marches on. So far this month there has been a change in the weather, from warm to cool to some cold nights. The rain came with a huge deluge bringing about some minor flooding around the place. The Autumn seems to herald new birds and a change in the guard of who owns what tree or bush. Soon the cold weather in the mountains will send the Currawongs down to my place and also the Satin Bowerbirds will arrive to chatter among the branches, building bowers, decorating with all sorts of bits of blue and to dance for their females.

The change in the colour of the leaves always lets us know that the cooler weather is on its way.

autumn colours_named_home-may 2015

I drove over to Newbold Crossing to see how much the Clarence River had risen. This is what around 130,000 megalitres looks like at 6 meters. The next day the river had risen to 10.4 meters!!

lilydale_grafton flood_named_may 2015

Some paddocks had water on them for days after but the ducks didn’t seem to mind.

pacific black duck_south grafton_grafton flood_may 2015

In some parts of the valley it was standing room only. Every fence post was occupied.

egrets_south grafton_grafton flood_named_may 2015

One morning I saw a hornet buzzing around the garden and just land on the leaf and walk about for a bit. I wondered what it was doing.

hornet01_named_home_may 2015

Then it went around the leaf.

hornet02_named_home_may 2015

It was then I found out what it was doing…just getting a drink!

hornet03_named_home_may 2015

The dragonfly was rather shy.

dragonfly_named_home_april 2015

I am going to have to rename my bird bath by the looks of it. Even butterflies like to get a drink every now and then.

small green-banded blue_named_home_april 2015

There has been some flowers showing their colours this May as well. I found this flower growing on the side of the road.

lilydale_weed yellow  flower_named_may 2015

Whereas this little flower, a murrdannia-graminea, was growing in the bush at my place

murrdannia graminea_named_home_april 2015

While on the road to Newbold Crossing to see how high the water had risen in the Clarence, I came across all these little birds, Black-fronted Plovers, running along the road and then flying off only to land on the road behind my car. They were so fast I couldn’t get a good photo. Plus it was late in the afternoon.

black-fronted plover_lilydale_named_may 2015

The branches had many birds coming to find their last snacks for the day or find a roost for the night. The Crested Pigeon just flew in and sat.

lilydale_top knot pigeon_named_may 2015

The magpies were having a great time swooping around chasing each other and then stopping to survey the scene before whizzing off again.

lilydale_magpies_named_may 2015

In the garden, the Yellow-faced Honeyeaters have taken ownership of the Honey Gem.

yellow-faced honeyeater_named_home_may 2015

They do have to share at times with the Brown Honeyeaters.

brown honeyeater_named_home_may 2015

The Bottlebrush around the back is also a favourite spot.

brown honeyeater01_named_home_may 2015

And make a show of fancy eating techniques.

brown honeyeater02_named_home_may 2015

The Eastern Spinebills have also set up home in the garden this Autumn.

eastern spinebill_named_home_may 2015

They too don’t mind how they get a snack

eastern spinebill01_named_home_may 2015

The Golden Whistlers have introduced new sounds into the garden.

golden whistler01_named_home_may 2015

They also add a splash of colour to the garden.

golden whistler02_named_home_may 2015

But best of all was the sighting of a new bird into the garden. Another flash of yellow was the give-a-way as the Yellow-tufted Honeyeater dropped into the Honey Gem for a quick snack before going on its way again.

yellow-tufted honeyeater_named_home_may 2015

That’s a good start for May but there has been lots more going on. Hope you can stop by for the next “installment” of May.

Lots of things to discover

It’s been a while since I have put a bit about what I have discovered in my travels around the north coast. A lot of these photos are from my place and my besties plus some from places in between. There has been many a thing to find, some accidental, some that made me go wow and of course an assortment of themes.

Last week at work, I looked out of the window and there was a rainbow’s end in the park. But I looked again and saw the second rainbow so I thought that is rather special to share. Yes folks, that is the view from my desk. Looking across the mighty Clarence River to Susan Island and beyond to South Grafton.

rainbow_office window_named_grafton_april 2015

I think these tiny plants are a moss growing along a small north facing bank. They look like little stars but are tiny erect plants when the macro lens gets into the structure.

star moss_named_binna burra_april 2015

These yellow flowers of the Beach Primrose are helping to hold the dunes together on Cabarita Beach.

beach plant_named_cabarita beach_march 2015

There is so much debris on the beaches most of it natural. I love the shapes and random patterns it makes interspersed with a splash of colour, a bit of green here, a bit of pink there.

beach debris_named_cabarita beach_march 2015

The coastline has some interesting geology as well as all the other stuff we see at the beach. The vertical strata caught my eye at Cabarita.

rocks_named_cabarita beach_march 2015

The day was getting stormy and the gulls were gliding in the wind.

seagul flying_named_cabarita beach_march 2015

Away from the beach the Wonga Pigeons were calling in the trees. This pigeon was just walking along the branches.

wonga pigeon_named_binna burra_march 2015

The Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike had a fine place to spot any potential food source at Lismore Lake.

black faced cuckoo shrike_named_lismore lake_april 2015

There were a lot of Egrets wading on the edge of the Lake when all of a sudden they all took to the skies, wheeled about for a while then just settled back to their preening and looking for a snack or two to come along. There were plenty of frogs calling.

egrets01_named_lismore lake_april 2015

Also watching from a vantage point was the Azure Kingfisher. They look quite regal as they survey their realm.

azure kingfisher_named_lismore lake_april 2015

Back at home, a stunning blue shape was flying around the garden. The Leaden Flycatcher found time to sit for a while.

leaden flycatcher_named_home_mar 2015

Of course my blog wouldn’t be right if I didn’t have a Spangled Drongo doing something different. This bloke seemed to have his head on backwards.

spangled drongo_named_binna burra_march 2015

I reckon the Wattlebird said to its mate “Show him your best side”

wattle birds_named_binna burra_march 2015

I caused a bit of a Twitter conversation with this photo of a Praying Mantis egg casing. Thanks to all the people who let me know what it was as I have seen them before but had no idea what it was.

praying mantis egg sack_named_small_home_march 2015

There has been lots of butterflies around. I think this one may be a Ringlet.

skipper_butterfly_named_binna burra_april 2015

The Orchard Butterflies certainly liked getting a feed from the red Pentas.

butterfly_name_home_march 2015

The Meadow Argus put on a bit of a show.

meadow argus_named_home_march 2015

The bees weren’t getting left out either. The Blue-banded Bee zipped about the garden gathering pollen from the flowers.

bee_red pentas_named_binna burra_april 2015

The mauve Pentas look a treat. Did you spot the ant as it was exploring the flowers?

pink pentas_ant_named_grafton_march 2015

The white Pentas certainly put on a show with a touch of pink highlights.

white pink pentas_named_binna burra_april 2015

I have never seen a galangal flower before.

galangal flower_named_binna burra_april 2015

The red Hibiscus flowers seem to burst out with their petals cascading from the centre.

hibiscus red_named_home_march 2015

My bestie planted the seeds of the Gaillardia and only one flower emerged but hopefully more will appear later.

flower_named_binna burra_april 2015

The rain drops were hanging from the Pink Trumpet Flowers. The drops on the top of the flower can be seen through the petals.

pink bell flowers_named_binna burra_april 2015

The Blue Gingers are stunning this year. A bit of a dry start to summer and the rains have made the bloom explode.

blue ginger flower_named_binna burra_april 2015

The rain on the fungi gave it a shiny coating

fungi_wet_named_binna burra_april 2015

These two little fungi looked like a fungi with a mini-me.

fungi_two_named_binna burra_april 2015

The wet ground has allowed the wood fungus to appear all through the bush. This one is one of my favourites.

fungi_named_binna burra_april 2015

The huge fig tree at my besties has possible reached the end of its life and has been dropping its huge branches so only two remain. The recent rain has seen a lot of the dead wood covered in this fungi.

fungi_white01_named_binna burra_april 2015

It is so white and fans out from the branch.

fungi_white02_named_binna burra_april 2015

All through the fungi are all sorts of insects. The Ear Wigs were scurrying under and over the fungi so not a clear photo but I was surprised that I actually got it.

fungi_earwig_named_binna burra_april 2015

On the way home from work, I drive past a small pond which has had a tyre in it as long as I can remember. On this day I had to do a quick U-turn as the tyre had two Long-necked Tortoises enjoying the sun. I have called them the Tyre Turtles as it sounds better than the Tyre Tortoises.

turtles_tyre_named_grafton_march 2015

Well as she catches the last rays of sunshine, I better get going as well. Did you enjoy this small peek into my world?

tyre turtle_named_grafton_april 2015

Flowers bugs and birds

The many wanderings around the north coast of NSW has taken me to many places, seen many things and of course taken many photos. The last wandering took in the warm days of Spring. The flowers are blooming and many of the birds are coming back to the gardens.

The Calendulas are looking great in the garden.

calendula_binna burra_named_oct 2014

The Gerberas just stand out in the sunshine.

gazania_binna burra_named_oct 2014

Lemon trees are full of buds. It’s hard to imagine that this little flower will turn into a lemon.

lemon blossom_binna burra_named_oct 2014

All through the garden the nasturtiums are a riot of colour, brilliant reds and oranges.

nasturtium_orange _close_binna burra_named_oct 2014

I thought it would be good to look deep inside to see what they look like. The patterns and shapes are quite different.

nasturtium_red _close_binna burra_named_oct 2014

The wisteria trailing over the arbour with the hanging blooms added a splash of mauve to the garden.

wisteria_binna burra_named_oct 2014

Lots of native flowers are looking good this year as well. The Egg and Bacon plants tiny flowers, only about 5 to 8mm across, are very showy.

egg and bacon flower_home_named_oct 2014

With the onset of warm weather the insects are always present around the house and garden. This Crane Fly was hovering around and finally resting on a leaf.

crane fly_binna burra_named_oct 2014

The baby geckos are also on the move at night. This little bloke lives in the laundry.

gecko_baby_home_named_oct 2014

The King Parrots send waves of reds and greens through the garden as the fly about the trees and bushes.

king parrot_home_named_oct 2014

Whereas the Rainbow Lorikeets provide a constant chatter.

rainbow lorikeet_home_named_oct 2014

The old broken pot has made a great birdbath. The Wattlebird is a bit shy when bathing.

brush wattlebird_binna burra_named_oct 2014

But doesn’t seem to mind sharing with the Spangled Drongo.

spangled drongo_wattlebird_binna burra_named_oct 2014

At Lismore Lake the birds are busy. The late afternoon has birds flying and singing everywhere. The Egrets stalk around the water plants, probably looking for an unsuspecting frog or fish.

egret_lismore lake_named_oct 2014

The Superb Fairy Wrens were flitting about the shrubs.

superb fairy wren_lismore lake_named_oct 2014

I wondered why that little bloke was so intent of capturing my attention. A bit of an investigation found these two.

superb fairy wren_chicks_lismore lake_named_oct 2014

Back at home, the Scarlet Honeyeater kept a wary eye on me as he had a feed on the Bottlebrush flower.

scarlet honeyeater_home_named_oct 2014

A convenient post let the Eastern Whipbird call his mate.

eastern whipbird_binna burra_named_oct 2014

The sunsets are quite spectacular this time of year, it must be time to go.

sunset_binna burra_named_oct 2014

The candles are lit so time to settle down for a bit relaxing after a busy day wandering about. Good night.

candles_binna burra_named_oct 2014